The Boston Celtics are taking on the Philadelphia 76ers tonight, their first time this season on the road. The Celtics were the winners of the first two matchups at the T.D. Garden this season with a 105-87 victory on opening night and then a 121-114 overtime win on Christmas Day. Each team is a bit different than the last time they faced off. So, here are a few keys to the game tonight.
How Do the Celtics Respond After Saturday Night?
If you watched the Celtics early in the game on Saturday night, you would have thought they cruised to an easy win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Well… they didn’t.
The Celtics blew a 28 point lead and ended up losing 123-112 to the Clippers. Obviously, a lot has happened since with the rumors and rumblings of the Celtics “not having fun anymore”. So, they took time to try to have some fun with each other and with the game of basketball again.
The Celtics playing at Philly tonight will be a test of who they really are. Are they the team that everyone thought they would be at the start of the season? Or, are they the team that has a visible disconnection between the veterans and young players, leading to chemistry issues and bad losses? Only the Celtics will be able to answer that question tonight.
No Kyrie Irving
Yep, unfortunately you read that correctly. The Celtics are without the services of Kyrie Irving as he is still day-to-day with a strained right knee.
This puts the Celtics at a huge disadvantage. Kyrie Irving is the engine that gets the Celtics going when they need somebody to take over late in the game. Some might even say that the Celtics would never have lost to the Clippers on Saturday night if he didn’t get injured early on in the game. But, that is neither here nor there. The Celtics have a job to do tonight and they’ll have to do it without their leader.
The New-Look 76ers
The 76ers made a big splash at the trade deadline in adding Tobias Harris.
They look to have a new “big 4” with Harris, Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid all playing together in the starting lineup, with Reddick rounding out the starting unit. Of course, their bench looks a little thin. So, that could be an advantage in the Celtics favor. But, if this 5 can play together and develop some chemistry tonight; it is going to be a long night for the Boston Celtics.
We’ll see what happens. Terry Rozier will now start in the place of Kyrie and we know how Rozier can be as a starter. If the Celtics can pull off this improbable win, then maybe they can FINALLY get on the right track and play their best basketball before the playoffs begin.
-Alan Nahigian (BigAl2793)
You love fantasy sports but getting tired of the same thing every year? Stop it. Join ThriveFantasy today where you bet on only the top tier players and gain points based on prop bets. Sign up today using the Couch Guy Sports link NOW & get in on the action. (Must deposit a minimum of $10 upon signup and ThriveFantasy will match)